Debt relief is often discussed as a possible solution to world poverty. Given the over 34% of the world’s population still live in poverty on less than $2 per day, the international community, and more specifically the G8 group consisting of the most powerful nations in the world, made poverty relief one of the main goals during the UN’s millennium meeting in 2000. In looking for solutions for world poverty, debt relief is often seen as an important element and has thus sparked the creation of initiatives such as the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative (HIPC). This addresses some of the world’s poorest nations that face an unsustainable debt burden and seeks to provide debt relief or complete debt cancellation in exchange for economic and political reforms. 36 of the world’s poorest countries already benefit from this initiative.
In 2005, at the urging of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the G8 summit revisited the issue of debt relief as a way to rid the world from poverty. An agreement was reached to provide more aid as well as debt relief to poverty-stricken countries. The agreement erased the debt of 18 of the world’s poorest nations (mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa). 70% of this debt was owed to the World Bank and the remaining debt was owed to the IMF and the African Development Bank. Debt relief for countries affected by natural disasters - such as the Asian tsunami, the Kashmir Earthquake and the Mozambique floods – is also being discussed as part of this larger debt relief initiative. The United Nations has been very supportive of debt relief.
 ‘Debt Relief Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative’, International Monetary Fund, 6 September 2011, http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/hipc.htm
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